Scientifically speaking, rodents and humans share a lot more in common than we think. In fact, rodents are the largest group of mammals, constituting almost half the class Mammalia’s approximately 4,660 species*.
Our behavior also syncs with the changing seasons: both rodents and humans tend to thrive outdoors during the spring and summer months, but cozy up on winter nights when the Phoenix weather tends to get a bit more chilly. The difference? We should not be cozying up together.
Rodent infestations can wreak havoc on your home, and be potentially dangerous to both human and pet health. While the weather is still a bit cool in Phoenix, be alert for the following signs that rodents are using your home as a crash pad:
Keep an Eye out For Droppings
A telltale sign of rodent presence in the home is their droppings. Rodent droppings are small pellets, measuring approximately 1/8-1/4” (3-6 mm) long. They are typically a darker, black color and have a strong, musty smelling odor. In most cases, rodent droppings can be found around food packages, in drawers or cupboards, and under the sink.
Note Nesting Material
Rodents like to make themselves at home, quite literally. Rodents tend to nest in dark, hidden areas, such as insulation within walls and ceilings, attics, under and behind furniture, as well as around furnaces or water heaters. They build their nests using scrap material found around the home. Shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter all act as excellent building blocks for potential nests.
Spot Gnaw Marks
Rodents can cause a decent amount of damage using only their teeth. There are a few spots to be on the lookout for gnaw marks:
· Signs of chewing on food packaging – this applies to both human food items, as well as bagged pet food.
· Holes chewed through walls and floors. Rodents such as mice only need an opening about a ¼ of an inch in size to crawl through. These small holes create entry points into the home.
Not game with sharing your home with these furry friends? Never fret, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of rodent infestation.
1. Seal holes inside and outside the home. Stop by your local home improvement retailer to pick up necessary materials: Steel wool, stucco diamond mesh, and a caulk gun. Plug small holes and vents with steel wool or stucco diamond mesh. Diamond mesh is easy to cut and mold for humans but is painful and unappealing for rodents to attempt to chew through. Caulk cracks and spaces are baseboards to limit entry to the home.
2. Keep your yard clean. Rake under trees and shrubs regularly, and thin bushes so that sunlight can pass through them. Remove leaf piles and fruits that could’ve fallen onto your roof. Rodents will always enter from outside – ensure that you’re not providing them with places to nest, and they will move on to another location.
3. Utilize tight-fitting lids in the kitchen. These lids go for everything: food supplies, pet food, and garbage. Rodents aren’t picky when it comes to food sources. Keep dry goods such as cereal in sealed metal or glass containers, and properly store fruits and vegetables.
4. Limit bird feeding. If you’re worried about a rodent infestation becoming a reality, steer clear of outdoor bird feeders. If you’re passionate about continuing to feed the birds, provide only the amount they can eat in a day and clean any spilled food before nightfall. Store birdseed in sealed, tight-fitted containers.
Let the Professionals Help
Countless families have turned to the team of professionals at Insectek Pest Solutions to keep their homes and pets safe. If you’re worried your home has been compromised by a rodent infestation, give us a call at (602) 795-7850 or fill out our evaluation form. Wild rodents shouldn’t be your roommates; send them packing.